Staffing Employment Trends – March 2012

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonfarm payroll employment grew by 227,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3%. The private sector grew by 233,000 jobs with increases focused in the professional and business services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and mining sectors. Construction, retail and government jobs remained steady in February.

Manufacturing employment grew by 31,000 jobs in February, occurring in durable goods
manufacturing, with job gains in fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, machinery and furniture and related products. Additionally, manufacturing has reported the first 12 month period of gains since 1988.

There has been a sharp increase in temporary help penetration from 2010 to 2012 and buyers are now positively biased towards contingent workers, according to Staffing Industry Analysts‘ monthly staffing industry report. It was also reported by buyers that they are using more contingent workers and the projected median share of contingent workers in 2012 is 15%, up from 10% as reported in 2009-2011.

The energy sector has emerged as an area to watch, with oil and gas extraction employment rising 34% from 2007 to 2012. Energy sector buyers report that they are most inclined to use more temporary labor in the coming months and years.